We are not doing enough. We are not doing enough to protect our kids from bullying.
Ask any parents or guardian about the No. 1 thing they look for in a school system, and the answer will be safety for their child. We are failing our children.
Late last month, a 13-year-old girl from Mantorville, Minn., hung herself. Although authorities say they have not identified a specific incident or action by another student that they believe is responsible for the girl's death, her family is speaking out against bullying.
Said her 22-year-old sister: "I wish I would have known what my little sister was going through."
The reason we do not know what our children are going through is that bullying is not something that the person being bullied will tell you about. They will not tell their parents, because they do not want to have it blown up more or amplified; they are scared it will lead to more bullying.
They will not tell their own best friends, because in many cases that is who has turned on them in the past. They will internalize.
They will make sure everything seems OK.
They are scared. They are frozen.
They are killing themselves.
We need to challenge school districts. We need to challenge school boards. We need to challenge teachers. We need to challenge our children. We need to challenge ourselves.
What are we doing about bullying?
What did our school districts do when they found out about the Mantorville girl's death?
Are we having full assemblies to train everyone and raise awareness of bullying?
Have we invited the girl's parents and older sister into our schools to speak out against bullying?
We are not doing enough. Children are in pain and killing themselves.
It is our problem.
It is our responsibility to fix it.